A homeless charity is launching an urgent appeal after revealing nearly 1,700 children in the North West to wake up homeless this Christmas.
Shelter say their investigation uncovered the harrowing impact of homelessness on families and children in Britain and the number of homeless children in the North West is the highest level recorded since 2008.
Alarmingly, the figures also reveal that the number of families living in emergency B&B and hostel rooms across the country has risen by a worrying 18% in just a year.
Shelter interviewed 25 families currently or recently living in emergency B&B's, hostels or sofa-surfing. They found:
More than three quarters of families said they felt their accommodation was unsafe
Every family lived in a single room without any space for the children to play.
Three-fifths of families had to share toilet and bathroom facilities, often in a poor and unsanitary condition, with other residents.
More than two-thirds of families said their room was in a state of disrepair.
18 of the 25 families interviewed said their children's mental and emotional health had been badly affected.